Preppers are a subculture of people that prepare for the collapse of society. They collect specialised survival products, skills, and knowledge. Prepping is both a hobby and a world view. It has its own aesthetics, vocabulary, and consumer objects, and also its own values and fantasies, centered around the moment of collapse and its aftermath.
In our emerging geopolitical era uncertainty is widespread. Prepping is the spirit of our times. For preppers, economic, environmental, technological, and military disaster is inevitable. Its menacing “tactical” survival skills and specialised outdoor gear reveal an apocalyptic individualism focused on preserving the self. The slick commodification of existential collapse reflect an absurd predicament, where preparing for total breakdown of a society seems more desirable than improving it. Preppers are betting against the house: they are emotionally, financially, and socially invested in apocalypse.
© Images: Guy Louden, Dan McCabe. Text: Guy Louden